The sculptor in search of disgust, dizziness and discomfort


This article originally appeared on VICE Belgium.

As teenagers, my friends and I spent a lot of time on the Internet. We wandered aimlessly, never using it for anything useful. Sometimes our deviant collective desires have led us into troubled waters on Google Images. I will never forget the day we searched for “Krokodil” there.

If we had known artists like Sarah sitkin Where Felix Deac, we might have gone to an art gallery to satisfy our quest for dizziness and disgust. Sitkin and Deac are both dedicated to creating sculptures that are as repulsive as they are well-crafted. They are not the only artists in business today to exploit the discomfort in their practice. Say hello to Matteo ingrao, a 31-year-old sculptor from Brussels who has been creating since the end of the 2010s one of the strangest and most disconcerting arts of physics.

Physicality is at the heart of his art, and Ingrao’s work is heavy with bodily details – it’s just teeth, pores, and veins. It reshapes and reworks the human body, making nightmarish changes to the parts we take for granted, creating faces and shapes that couldn’t exist in reality.

His process differs depending on the environment in which he worked at the time. With his physical sculptures, Ingrao brings together different elements after molding parts of the body, so as to evoke as high a level of detail as possible. The “flesh” of his work is silicone, “which reproduces the softness of the skin quite realistically,” as he puts it.

When asked why the body is so present in his work, Ingrao replies that it all depends on his hands. “I was captivated by their textures and colors. In general, I was amazed by the wrinkles, the creases, the fingerprints – all those beautiful details. Looked at closely, the hands may look like dry landscapes or maps dotted with rivers. We are like a small world within ourselves.

When it comes to his digital sculptures, he also starts from a human base, but places much more importance on aspects such as position, expression, light and hair detail. Either way, “the sculptures come together piece by piece,” he says. “I don’t really have a specific final form in mind.”

Working in physical and digital settings allows him to be flexible about how he presents his final piece. He believes, for example, that some of his physical sculptures make no sense or find their real form only after being captured by the camera.

This is why, unlike other artists who are happier working in the rather closed circuit of galleries, museums and art centers, Ingrao decides to exhibit largely online – he sees the Internet as a kind of exhibition. permanent exhibition. His detachment from the circuits of traditional art could also be due to the fact that he has no formal training in the field – his degrees are a bachelor’s degree in translation and a master’s degree in multilingual communication.

Below you’ll find a selection of wonderfully weird works by Ingrao. Anyone with a penchant for sculptural disgust can see more of the artist Instagram.

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